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Power surge
The '50s was the decade of power and the numbers put up by the untainted athletes were impressive.
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INSIDE:

CLUBHOUSE
CRONICLES

Jimmy Palermo, during a historic 7-day span in May, 1939, saw the meteoric rise of Williams and tragic decline of Gehrig.

THE GAME'S
GOLDEN ERA

An exclusive WIWAG ongoing feature.


MEMORIES
The field seemed vast to a 7-year old who had looked forward to this day for two months.

BREAKING THE COLOR LINE
The year marks the 60th anniversary of the first major league tryout for black players.

SPECIAL COLOR
LINE TIMELINE

Bud Fowler is the first know black players on an integrated team.

BOOMING BATS
of the '50s

Qualify as Grade A10.


AMERICA'S ORIGINAL
SPORTS BAR
First sports bar featured 12-inch Farnsworth TV.

BASEBALL
HISTORIANS

Two unsuspecting vintage baseball fans rediscover a "National Treasure."
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BAT NO 1: Reese's bat, above, is a Louisville Slugger (model R46) with a barrel signature stamp.
BAT NO 2: Identical to No. 1, the bat below is also a Louisville Slugger (model R46) with a barrel signature stamp.

















BAT NO. 1: Hall of Fame Dodger shortstop Pee Wee Reese used this bat in a July 1954 series against the Cardinals at Busch Stadium. The "Bums" lost the first game of the series, but came back to take the last two with "The Little Colonel" rapping out three hits in a 2-1 win in the third game. The 1954 season was Pee Wee's most productive offensive campaign. He finished with a .309 average on 171 hits and drove in 69 runs.

BAT NO. 2: Another bat used by Pee Wee Reese in June of 1955. In that series, Reese had two hits and two RBIs in a 12-1 win in the first game, and three hits and two RBIs in a 7-4 Brooklyn triumph in the third game. The captain of the "Boys of Summer" lead the Dodgers to the 1955 National League Pennant and a seven game win over the Yankees for Brooklyn's first World Championship. He hit a solid .282 with 156 hits, 10 homers and 61 RBIs.

PEE WEE REESE

HALL OF FAME: 1984

ALL-STAR: 1942, 1946, 1947, 1948, 1949, 1950, 1951, 1952, 1953, 1954

Reese was idolized by Dodger fans and loved Brooklyn

As captain of the dominating Dodgers teams of the 1950s, Reese was a quiet force both on the field and in the clubhouse.

HALL OF FAMER

PEE WEE REESE was the best shortstop in the National League in the late 1940s and into the 1950s.
PEE WEE REESE WEB LINKS

Against all odds, Pee Wee Reese earned an opportunity to play professional baseball, start for the Dodgers, play in several World Series, and be enshrined in the Hall of Fame. He did the little things that helped his teams win: bunt the runner over, go from first to third on a base hit, or range into the hole for a grounder. He was the best shortstop in the National League in the late 1940s and into the 1950s.

Reese was a scrawny kid when he reported to his first Dodger camp in 1940. By 1955 he was a veteran of the war, the team captain and a world champion. He was the team leader who helped pave the way for the acceptance of Jackie Robinson in 1947. Several times Reese stood next to Robinson when hateful fans and opposing players hurled slurs and worse at the first black ballplayer.

Reese began his Major League career on April 23, 1940, with the Brooklyn Dodgers at age 22. Pee Wee played for 16 seasons and ended his big league playing career in 1958.


REESE led Brooklyn to seven pennants in his 16 seasons — and his 46 World Series game hits rank fifth all-time.

A smooth fielder, he became the premier shortstop of his era, an all-star each year from 1947 to 1954. He led the National League in putouts four times, double plays twice, and fielding percentage and assists once each.

Reese was also a great leadoff hitter, leading the league in walks (104) in 1947, in runs scored (132) in 1949, and in stolen bases (30) in 1952. He was also noted for his clutch hitting and excellent bat control. Reese's highest average was .309 in 1954. He was idolized by Dodger fans and loved Brooklyn.

The captain of the dominating Dodgers teams of the 1950s, Reese was a quiet force both on the field and in the clubhouse. After his arrival in Brooklyn, he was named captain of the Dodgers, and many called him "The Captain." The title was well earned, as he was the leader of Dodger teams that won seven pennants in the 1940s and 1950s.

For almost a decade he and Jackie Robinson formed one of Baseball's top double-play combinations. Reese led Brooklyn to seven pennants in his 16 seasons — and his 46 World Series game hits rank fifth all-time.

After being originally signed by the Red Sox, the 5'10" 160-pound Reese proved his worth in Louisville. Managing and playing shortstop for Boston at the time was Joe Cronin, who wasn't ready to make room for the talented youngster by moving himself to third base. Pee Wee was then sold to Brooklyn for $75,000. In 1941 he led the Dodgers to their first pennant since 1920. From 1941 through 1956, with a three-year absence in the Navy during World War II, he averaged 148 games a year.

When the Dodgers moved to Los Angeles, Reese went along, but was nearing the end of his career. He played 59 games in 1958 and became a coach. Reese retired soon after, coaching only briefly before spending some time as a broadcaster.

The bulk of his post-baseball career was spent working for Hillerich & Bradsby, the manufacturers of the Louisville Slugger. For years his place in the Hall of Fame was debated by baseball fans and historians. Finally, in 1984 he was selected to the Hall of Fame by the Veterans Committee.

PEE WEE REESE: Did you know...

....Reese, on May 21, 1952, became the only National League player in the 20th century to safely reach base three times in one inning.

...Reese finished in the top ten in the National League MVP voting eight times.

...Reese was selected as a National League all-star 1942, 1946, 1947, 1948, 1949, 1950, 1951, 1952, 1953 and 1954.

...Reese got his nickname as a young champion marble shooter; a "pee wee" is a type of marble.

...Reese was released by the Los Angeles Dodgers in April 1959.

...Reese was born on July 23, 1918, at Ekron, Kentucky. He died on August 14, 1999 in Louisville, Kentucky at age 81.


A SMOOTH FIELDER, Reese became the premier shortstop of his era, an all-star each year from 1947 to 1954.

PEE WEE PLAYED with the Dodgers his entire 16 season Major League career — 1940 to 1958.



THE BOYS OF SUMMER: Reese, second from right, compares lumber with teammates, from left, Duke Snider, Gil Hodges, Jackie Robinson and Roy Campanella. Below, Reese and Robinson workout at the Dodger's spring training facility in Vero Beach, Florida.


FOR YEARS, Reese's place in the Hall of Fame was debated by baseball fans and historians. Finally, in 1984 he was selected to the Hall of Fame by the Veterans Committee.